The 2009 Outdoors Show In Pictures

Our pick of the action from this year's Outdoors Show at the NEC.

Posted: 30 March 2009
by Jon

We spent last Friday at the 2009 Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show at the NEC and, to be honest, thought it wasn't as good as last year's show with fewer exhibitors squeezed into a smaller space than before. There was still stuff worth checking out though, you just had to dig a little. Here are a few of the highlights in pictures.

Outwell Indian Lake

We were taken with this pointy teepee family tent, the Outwell Indian Lake. It sleeps no fewer than six people in two bedrooms with added living room and has all mod cons. That thing at the top isn't just for show either, it's proper vent designed to maximise ventilation. Then we found out how much it costs, a whopping £819.99. Eeek...

Bowmore stand at NEC

This was our favourite stand with soft-accented Scottish folk promoting Islay as a destination via the persuasive medium of Bowmore malt whisky which was available for tasting and purchase too. You'll never guess what we took home in our daysac... Or maybe you will.

Hi-Tec Ion Mask boots

After rolling out there Ion Mask waterproof nano-technology on leather boots last winter, Hi Tec has turned its attention to fabric-uppered boots and shoes for spring summer 2009. This is the V-Lite Skamania - odd name - with waterproof upper and seam-sealed construction. More at


This is a polecat that we found on the National Trust stand. It has a name, though with the best will in the world, we can't remember it, partly thanks to the Bowmore stand, above. Oh. it's stuffed by the way, though we're not sure of the NT's official policy on taxidermy.... Animals are so much easier to photograph once they're stuffed.

Apkit Jeanius

Alpkit's Jeanius soft shell jeans made their bow at the show. Made from Epic denim with fibres encapsulated in silicone, they're highly water resistant and pretty much windproof too. Fit is snug and the full production version costs £55. Also new are Alpsocks.

Alpkit stoves protos

Top secret Alpkit meths burning stoves with lightweight aluminium anodised pans. You can expect prices a lot lower than Trangia, we think we heard £30 mentioned, but you'll just have to wait and see. Siliconised nylon packs are also in the offing.

John Ross sponsored bike Iditarod

This is the bike that Alpkit athlete John Ross, aka 'Shaggy' rode to a brilliant fourth place in this year's Iditarod race across the frozen wastes of Alaska. Alpkit provided special sleeping bags, luggage and a huge but very light bivvy bag made from Epic. More at and congratulations to Shaggy on a cracking performance in some appalling conditions.

Satmap online route planner

Satmap was promoting it's online route planner. It's a quietly impressive bit of kit, but tends to run slower and slower as you add waypoints, until you can go off and make a cup of tea between clicks. The company are working on it however.


Plenty of have a go stuff, particularly for the kids. This was a giant bath tub full of paddly things...

brush boarding, what?

And this, rather improbably, is brush boarding. And no, we don't see the point of it either. Especially at an outdoors show... We were bristling. Ooops.


Another year, another selection of small boys playing with lethal firearms in the name of military recruitment.

trials bikes

Some impressive indoor trials bike riding skills on display. These guys have clearly had a bit of practice.

Càrn Viper eV

New UK outdoor footwear brand CÀRN was showing off its new range of trail running, walking and trekking footwear. Full report.

Paramo Signature Aspira

Paramo is going bright for spring. On the left is the Signature Aspira Smock in lime and cobalt - not recommended for the shy and retiring, while on the right is the British Antarctic Survey's special Ladies Aspira Smock. Also launched nationwide was...

Paramo Velez Adventure Light smock

... the Velez Adventure Light Smock, previously only available in Paramo's London store, now generally available. It has a lighter face fabric that the standard Velez - left - which saves significant weight, around 20 per-cent over the standard version. Full test.

fabrics 4 life

Good to see the Oxfam / Grangers Fabric 4 Life partnership going great guns. The idea is that Grangers are cleaning and treating outdoor clothing donated to Oxfam to give it a new lease of life and make it saleable and useable. That red bin in the background was full :-)

Captain Paranoia and his squeezebox stove

More about the Alpkit Colab Innovation Award shortly, but this is the one and only Captain Paranoia with his stunning Squeezebox stove canvassing hard for our vote...

nice tricycle

We wanted this to escape from air-conditioned exhibition world, but didn't have the bottle to pinch it. Just wait till next year.

SCUBA training

Meanwhile these guys were searching for the secret underwater escape tunnel that leads out into a world of bright sunshine and tropical fish. We're not sure if they found it...

indoor climbing

Plenty of places to try climbing as well. Not only on the many indoor walls for both adults and kid, but also, for those who were game enough, on the actual course used for the Skymasters climbing competition. Not as high off the ground as last year, but still impressive...


And that's it for this year folks. Will there be a next year? We're honestly not sure. We've spoken to quite a few people who were disappointed in the show and it felt like it had shrunk since 2008. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Previous article
Quo Mapping Software Now Free
Next article
The Friday The 13th Matinee

Discuss this story

Talkback: The 2009 Outdoors Show In Pictures

Sign up to our weekly newsletter
Sign up to our twitter feed